The REAL costs of not cooking at home

Can we get real? I have something I want to get off my chest, and before we “go there,” I want to make sure you’re ready for what I’m about to lay on the table. Okay, I’m just going to say it:

Not cooking is costing you way too much.

Let’s break it down. For starters, it’s costing you your health on many levels. For the obvious reasons, takeout and restaurant food is proven to be unhealthy; low quality oils and seasonings wreak havoc on our bodies, and when our digestive system can’t recognize ingredients, health problems ensue.

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Figuratively speaking, when you don’t cook with your own two hands, you are completely disconnected from your food source. Sure, you may be getting food into your body by reheating a meal from the freezer isle or picking something up on your way home from work. But there’s a huge disconnect here – you didn’t make this food, and it’s a quick fix for the REAL nourishment of feeding yourself with your own two hands.

Then we get to the emotional downsides of eating out constantly. The more we rely on external sources for nourishment, the less we’re able to take care of ourselves. It may start with food, but it often quickly seeps into other areas of life (exercise, sleep, and quality of relationships). How we do one thing is how we do everything, and when we don’t cook our own food, we begin to fully rely on others to survive rather than owning our power and fully caring for our incredible bodies.

Physical and mental health aside, let’s not forget the toll that takeout can have on our wallets. Newsflash: it’s more expensive. At best, you’re throwing your money at un-utilized groceries or low quality takeout; at worst, you’re looking at long-term financial costs of doctor visits, prescriptions, and medical treatment bills treating a laundry list of ailments that could easily be healed through food. Bad news all around.

If I had $1 for every time someone told me cooking healthy food was too expensive, I would literally be rich. That would be a nice business plan, but I’m way too passionate about helping you get into your kitchen.

It’s about time I debunk the myth and break it down for you. I did the math for you so you don't have to! This assumes you’re just feeding yourself, but if you’re feeding more people, multiple by the number of mouths. Here’s your cost breakdown:

  • ONE WEEK OF NOT COOKING AT HOME
    • Buying coffee and breakfast at a café 5 days a week: $35
    • Buying lunch 5 days a week: $40
    • Prepared food 2 nights a week: $20
    • Takeout 3 nights a week: $45
    • Eating out brunch Sat and Sun: $50
    • Eating out dinner Sat and Sun: $90
    • Misc. snacks to feed that urge to be nourished: $20
    • TOTAL WEEKLY SPEND: $300 (higher if you’re in a big city)
  • ONE WEEK OF COOKING HEALTHY FOOD AND EATING OUT LESS:
    • Breakfast and coffee at home 5 days a week: $8
    • Batch cooked meals for 5 days of mix-and-match lunch and dinner: $75
    • Home cooked brunch Sat and Sun: $25
    • Buying coffee and breakfast at a café 2 days a week: $14
    • Eating out dinner Sat and Sun (because balance): $90
    • TOTAL WEEKLY SPEND: $212 (slightly higher if you’re in a big city)

This means batch cooking actually saves you over $85/week, more than $350/month, and a whopping $4,200 EVERY YEAR. If you have the means to spend the same each week once you make the switch to cooking at home, by all means, go wild! Even the simple energetic switch from all that eating out to batch cooking will reap so many benefits throughout your life (well-being, self-worth, and overall life satisfaction, just for starters). The lower healthy cooking budget is generous; I’ve gone weeks spending way less by cooking plant-based meals and shopping for on-sale produce. Wherever you’re at with your finances, the switch to cooking in your own kitchen will make you will wonder how you ever lived any other way.

WHEW.

Big thanks for letting me get real with you. I knew we've gotten to that level and you could handle a healthy serving of truth talk. You’re really the best. Whether you’ve never tried cooking in your own kitchen before, or you’re an occasional meal-prepper on the fence about next week’s food, I challenge you to get into the batch cooking mindset!

Need a place to start? I’m so amped to share my upcoming 7-Day #BatchCookChallenge! What’s better than a healthy cooking challenge? A FREE healthy cooking challenge! 7 days of fun, simple challenges to get you back in your kitchen and feeling your absolute best. It’s gonna be full of delicious food, supportive community, and awesome prizes. We kick off on March 11th, and you don't want to miss out. Get all the deets and sign up HERE. See you there.

And now that the record’s been set straight, I want to hear from you! Are you on a budget? Have you ever tried making the switch from takeout to cooking, and noticed any changes on your wallet or in your overall life? Tell me in the comments below!